Election Diary of the Pre-election Period

AuthorGregory Tardi
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 13
DAY + 113 | SUNDAY, JUNE 30, 2019
  
SECTION 2: Pursuant to section  of the Act, this is the f‌irst day of the
“pre-election period.”
e concept of a pre-election period is novel in federal electoral legis-
lation. When f‌ixed-date elections replaced those that could be launched
at the discretion of the government, political parties, candidates, and
especially third parties, being aware of the likely start-date and duration
of election campaigns, engaged in the practice of high rates of spend-
ing on messaging in the period just prior to the issue of the writs. In
the weeks leading up to June , , many unregulated and unsigned
advertisements were thus placed in the media. is practice to a large
extent negated the eect of spending limits during the actual campaign.
1 www.cbc.ca/news/politics/third-party-ads-raptors-1.5170921; https://beta.ctvnews.ca/
national/politics/2019/6/10/1_4460332.html; https://globalnews.ca/news/5373930/
raptors-telecast-political-attack-ads/; www.thestar.com/politics/political-opinion/
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Election Diary of the Pre-election Period
To avoid this, the Elections Modernization Act included the new concept of
the pre-campaign period.
e notion of a “pre-election period” may not be universally welcome.
ose who continue to believe in freedom of speech unencumbered by
notions of a level playing f‌ield dispute the validity of this change to
the legislation. eir reasoning is the same as that disposed by the
Supreme Court of Canada in the Harper case of . Such expressions
of opinion tend to overlap with partisan rhetoric.
SECTION 407(1): Pursuant to section () of the Act, this is the dead-
line by which, every year, a registered party and an eligible party shall
provide the Chief Electoral Ocer with a statement certif‌ied by its leader
conf‌irming the validity of the information concerning the party in the
registry of political parties.
SECTION 407(2): Pursuant to section () of the Act, starting in
, a registered party and an eligible party must provide the Chief
Electoral Ocer with the names and addresses of  electors and their
declarations in the prescribed form that they are members of the party.
SECTION 407(3): Pursuant to section () of the Act, a registered
party and an eligible party must provide the Chief Electoral Ocer with
a declaration by its leader that, having considered all of the factors rel-
evant to determining the party’s purposes, one of the party’s fundamen-
tal purposes is a matter of public policy (see Political Parties Must Have
Public Policy Purpose, pages –).
Starting on this f‌irst day of the pre-election period, political adver-
tisements by third parties are now the subject of legislated controls on
allowable spending.
ELECTION ADMINISTRATION: In addition to the new rules arising out
of the revisions to the Canada Elections Act in respect of political parties
2 www.thestar.com/politics/federal/2019/06/30/and-theyre-o-the-federal-elections-
3 https://nationalpost.com/opinion/john-robson-a-message-from-the-government-of-
4 www.mccarthy.ca/en/insights/articles/canadas-election-advertising-rules-have-
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and third parties, there are also updated requirements regarding govern-
ment advertising.
DAY + 112 | MONDAY, JULY 1, 2019
HOLIDAY: Canada Day
DAY + 111 | TUESDAY, JULY 2, 2019
CEA: is was the f‌irst working day of the new pre-election period.
DAY + 110 | WEDNESDAY, JULY 3, 2019
CEA: Pursuant to section () of the Act, in order for a political party
to become a registered party, it must have at least one candidate whose
nomination has been conf‌irmed for an election and its application to
become registered must have been made at least sixty days before the
issue of the writs. As of July , , when the date of issue of the writs
was not yet known, this was the proper timing to fulf‌ill this requirement.
INTERNATIONAL: As a sign of continuing attention to the possible
threats of foreign interference with the election process, CSIS and CSE,
the two principal security agencies, oered brief‌ings to the major polit-
ical parties. is purely domestic security initiative intersects with Can-
adian participation in multilateral eorts to provide for the integrity of
democratic elections at a time when interference in democracies is not
merely a rumour but a reality. In ways that are only partially known to
the public as a result of their sensitive nature, Canada is cooperating
with like-minded democracies in protecting its electoral practices and
events. For example, Canada is a participant in the Alliance of Dem-
ocracies. It is also active in the Transatlantic Commission on Election
5 www.cbc.ca/news/politics/federal-government-advertising-spending-2019-election-
6 www.cbc.ca/news/politics/election-online-advertising-canada-1.5195484.
7 www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-federal-political-parties-receiving-classied-
security-briengs-on; www.cbc.ca/news/technology/fake-news-misinformation-online-
8 www.allianceofdemocracies.org/.

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